****PLEASE LISTEN CHURCH****
I see a divide happening within the body between the new emerging leaders of a Jesus Centered Movement and the remnants of 3 decades of the greatest explosion and prosperity of church history in America. What I am saying is that God is doing a new thing and he tearing away a old system that brought both fruit and decay into the body. Let us please allow this wineskin burst.
I grew up in the 80’s as a child. The days where I could ride my bike down the street past dark, not wear helmets, leave your kids in the car while you go into the grocery, you know what I am talking about. Something else was stirring in the 80’s. The church was experiencing the birth of the Charismatic Renewal, in other words the gifts of the Spirit were beginning to flow in great power from the same group who found salvation through the Jesus movement. Not Just that but the Baptist were growing leaps and bounds through the Gospel meetings of Billy Graham stretching coast to coast filling out stadiums.
This great unity through revival brought the Church under this banner of the Charismatic outpouring and Moral Majority. This is what I grew up in and it was beautiful but it had like every other movement its pitfalls. I am going to talk about what I believe these pitfalls are. And trust me I am sorry your going to be upset but we need to have these discussions.
The first one is we traded Jesus for a party. We literaly backed the republican party and blured the lines between Jesus and part. This is what I mean. In 1979 Jerry Falwell who lead the largest independent Baptist Church started a movement to unify Christian to have a moral voice in Government called Moral Majority. Shortly after James Robinson started a movement called the Gospel Coalition of America. These two forces unified a divided Church of Baptist and Charismatics to change the political landscape in the Reagan years. Social justice took the place of revival. The church stopped praying and just started voting.
For the first time the Church had a voice in government. They desired to erase the boundary of separation of Church and State. They eagerly push legislation to enact moral change in America. In other words they desired to legislate Jesus. The problem so often, their character did not align to the person of Jesus and the world saw the Church on the stage of politics “playing the role of hypocrite!” This slowly chiseled away at the cultural influence of the Church had in the world.
The second thing is the Church left the revival held in the tents and fields in the poverty stricken areas of the 50’s through the 70’s and built cathedrals in the richest parts of towns. The mentality was to plunder the rich to help the poor. Instead we left the “heart of Acts 4 of giving all we had to the mentality of give to get all we can.” We built monuments to men and forsake our first love.
The third is, in the fear of losing what we had we adopted an American governmental structure within the Church. Pastor became self appointed Apostles “CEO”S”, “Presidents, elected politicians” with boards. There priority was to keep the machine rolling. It became about preserving a legacy, building, salaries! Coverings, spiritual authority, shepherding, Fathering, discipleship, all became terms of control. Leadership was your ceiling and their anointings validated there overreach of authority. The Ten Commandments became the standard not the Spirit. People, well, just weren’t smart enough to hear him, according to Leadership. They became the voice of Holy Spirit to a bible illiterate people who were just happy that their tithes were causing them to prosper.
As the overreach of authority continued the spirit began to lift. Suddenly the joyful burst out of Hallelujah now became a rehearsed entertainment. White washed tombs stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Yes we would all hear about the few breakouts of the spirit, Brownsville and Toronto in the 90’s but the movement as a whole was gaining water quickly and people were jumping ship. This has lead us to the largest exile of youth in the late 90’s who received their news from the Daily Show and Cason Daily live on VH1.
They did not want religion they didn’t want Jesus. They were so filled with condemnation and guilt that they ran for the hills as the world came in as Titus to destroy Temple in 70 AD. Scandal after scandal rolled in the first years of the 2000’s, not to mention a failed attempt by the church to claim the day and hour of Christ’s Return “Y2K!” The world was taking out the church like fish in a barrel. This hating of religion has lead to what i would call the largest hijacking of grace leading people into comple universalism. I hate this with all my heart.
Now here comes the next wave of leaders. Here come the children of a movement that built the largest church buildings in history. Some now still sit vacant today. Empty tombs where people died giving their every penny to support a man made dream. In the middle of the ashes of a broke down movement arises a Jesus Centered People. A people filled with Fire moving in Power, strong willed I might add, who despise religion. I often get pegged by the older generation as one with zeal but lacks wisdom. ”You’re a rebel”, they quickly say. Asking who my covering is or who I am submitted to. All question the generation above Jesus asked Him.
I will tell you what we want. We want Jesus. We do not want your churches. We do not want your sheep. We want Jesus and if it’s not in His life then we don’t want it in ours. You can have you buildings. We want the streets, the fields, the marketplace. We want power and love not chrisma. We want cancer to be destroyed and we will lock ourselves in a closet till we walk in Jesus to do so. We care less about your spiritual pedigree, but how you love.
We want the 5 fold, we are not against it. We just believe they’re the floor not our ceiling. They are there to equip the Saints not stifle their calling and gifting. We do not believe in clergy and layman but that all are priest and kings. We believe that grace is not the covering of sin but the empowerment to overcome sin. That we are under that supernatural grace that allows us to walk in the Spirit not the law. We don’t want to give 10%. We want to give 100%,cheerfully.
We actually believe that we can raise the Dead, cast out devils, heal the sick. We are not trying to protect ourselves. We will go to the darkest placed to reveal light. We want to become extravagant lovers of Jesus who are lost in this sweet romance. We are ready to die for him. We are sold out. Now let’s work together to destroy hell. WE JUST WANT JESUS!!!!!!!!!
David the psalmist once worshiped and praised before the Presence of God ushering it into Jerusalem. His extravagant praise drew criticism from his wife who was cursed with barrenness for her judgment. David later in his life wrote that God himself enthrones Himself upon the praise of His people.
The problem I see with in most churches is that we had traded praise for performance. Leaving little for God to enthrone Himself upon. To loose His presence is to preform. But who are we performing for?
Samson through disobedience lost the presence of God. The Bible records the story in a interesting way. The very enemy that Samson was given the strength (that came through God’s presence) to destroy now called upon Samson to perform and entertain them. The most amazing thing is…he did.
I find that churches across the States are not entertaining angels but demons. Performance is demonic. We are not called to perform but to minister to the Father. Do not allow your church to become a hospice where people come to die. Instead dance, praise, worship into a place of Divine presence.
I often see that most of our criticisms toward others has to do with the fact that they do not look nor act like us. Jesus once said, I make all things new…not all things you! God longs to manifest His spirit through your unique expression. There will never be another Smith Wigglesworth though I long to manifest Gods glory like him. Never again will we see another Wesley, Finney, Katherine, or Bonnke. Instead He desires to do a new thing.
Let us cease from being critics of others and even ourselves. As we gaze into the Glory of the King, He releases His Spirit to manifest through our person. Let us position our hearts to be instruments of Righteousness, revealing the Gold trapped within people. Conformity and unity must only be gathered around Jesus, not a person but a King. This allows His good works to be uniquely manifested through individual callings.
Jacob once said, “Surly the presence of the Lord was here and I knew it not!” The awareness of His presence is most vital for transformation. Without His presence we are left with only the reflections of mere men. They become the wood, hay, and stubble that we attempt to build with. These materials absorb light and give little to no reflection. They are self centered methods to obtain righteousness. They will never withstand the all consuming presence of the Father.
When we choose to abide in His presence we are completely transformed from glory to glory into His Image. God adorns His temple, his people with gold, silver and precious stones as we walk in obedience to His work, perfecting His creation to be reflections of His glory. All three of these become perfect reflections of what we behold. As we abide the world see expressed images of Christ manifest glory!
Press on today! Strive, labor to enter into this rest. Jesus is here and now. Eye has not seen, ear has not heard all Gods plans for you, but His Spirit has! Pass through His gates with thanksgiving, through His courts with praise, straight into His sanctuary. Now, stand in his glory!!!
The war on marriage was not when the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage though it is a battle against what God originally intended. It started when the church started entering in to covenants that were easily broken. We the Church have turned marriage into the lust of the flesh and not the fruits of His spirit. Why? Because men stopped dying for their wives and started emphasizing that wives should submit to their husband. While the wives submitting is true, men are to die first. We as men are to have sacrificial love that serves and stewards our wives hearts.
We have also turned dating into what I call practicing divorce. We go from one person to another trying to be fulfilled by the lust of the flesh only to find they can not fill the desire of your heart. So they leave on a pursuit of another while building a stronghold within their hearts to never submit in relationship and to grow in love.
I want you to see this picture. Adam was not seeking Eve. Adam was fulfilled in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That’s why the Father did not create Eve outside of Adam. Instead He created Eve out of Adam’s fullness. See you will always struggle in marriage if your goal it to be fulfilled by your spouse. We were created to be fulfilled by Christ and communion with the Father. You are to owe nothing to your spouse but to love them as Christ loves His church. DENY YOURSELF!!!
So there are many things I could say about this city. One thing is it’s beautiful. The architecture. The seascape. Even the economy. It’s like everyone’s on the same playing field here. All these things from a earthly standpoint are things we desire. Healthcare to education, they are figuring it out and giving in to their people. This is one of the cleanest cities I have been in. Did you know that less then 5% waste makes it to the landfills. Wow!
So how does this play into the gospel you might ask. Well, how do you tell a people who think that life is great that they’re missing the most important part of their life. After being rejected preaching the gospel again and again, told that Jesus is rubbish, that Jesus can’t save us, your heart breaks. A people parish from a lack of knowledge. Their love, their joy is nothing but conditional. Behind the mask is a broken, hungry generation, looking for something real.
See, they have been so conditioned by society that they can have everything and if they don’t the government will help them. The government even helps them with religion by giving them state sponsored church. They regulate what can be taught to appease their own convictions while hiding the true gospel which is a rock of offensive toward a dead soulish nature.
Religion has a distinct sour taste to this culture. The idea of conforming to a Jesus is more then many want to bare. The question is what Jesus are they being asked to conform to. Society and culture has so abandoned the Jesus of the gospel to a deist personality that makes Jesus to be nothing more then a war monger, a political chess piece moved by countries to control and manipulate people into submission.
How do you take a “evolved” country, a atheist country, and shape it into a move of God? Well, William Booth said it best when he said, “Many spend their time petitioning God to move not realizing that they are the the move of God!” We as the church have built religion on one platform. We shout it from the streets, “Repent, so that you might go to heaven!” But that’s not the gospel. The gospel was never about getting to heaven. It was about heaven getting into you. Spurgeon once wrote, ” It takes little faith to get to heaven, but it takes great faith to get heaven into you!”
The gospel was and is about heaven invading our soul and flesh. Repent for the Kingdom is here! It’s NOW!!! So how do you bring the gospel to a culture who thinks they have it all. You day by day pull the vail from their eyes. You walk in love, joy, and peace everyday in front of them. They truly lack peace. See peace isn’t “everyone is happy because everyone got what they wanted.” That’s not peace. That is circumstantial happiness. Peace is from the Hebrew word Shalom. This word means literally we destroy the authority in our lives connected to chaos and confusion. It means we replace one kingdom with heaven’s kingdom.
Revivals are not carted in on ministries. They rarely last. David once tried to bring the presence of God on a cart… it ended badly. The presence like the ark had to be varied by men into Jerusalem. The presence and revival is always carried by men and women. There are not great men of God in this world. There are only men and woman who have yielded to a great God. God is looking for the hungry and pure in heart.
In Stockholm there is a storm. This storm is a raging pillar of fire. See the government regulated church but God raised up another church. It’s called the free church. Men and women of God who are positioning themselves to become the move of God. They are the foundation of revival. This revival will not come from the select few screaming fire and proclaiming Jesus from the streets (things I love to do). No, this is going to be different.
Jesus came one day to pursue his disciples. Mathew said that he came first to Peter and Andrew as they were casting their nets and said “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men”! These are the fire starters. They are anointed to break the yokes and bonds of even the hardest of hearts. Next Jesus went to the boat of John and James. This is the beauty of this story. John and James where with their Father mending nets. They were the mender of nets, they became the pillar of the church. Peter and Andrew were the casters of nets. Revival must have both. They must have fire starters and the Fathers. John and James became the Fathers of the a movement. They were boasters of Jesus love. Peter and Andrew were the boasters their love for Jesus. One is not more correct then the other. But both are needed to destroy hell on earth.
So I see Fathers and Mothers rising up in Sweden. Ones who have not only experienced love but have become the love of God. They are mending the nets for a great harvest. Soon this gospel with be preached in the streets bringing great conviction all over Sweden. Many will repent in the street with many tears. But first the Fathers and mothers must arise to build the nets. And the fire starters must be the bellows blowing across the hearts of the land, positioning the church to become the move of God.
SWEDEN WILL BE SAVED!!!